PSA Fall Phestival: Des Moines 2015

iowa_psa_logoUpdate: Bus tour details added on 9/7.

Visit the birthplace of Waite Phillips. See the Phillips family towns of Creston, Bedford and Conway, Iowa in their fall splendor.


October 2-4, 2015 at the Sheraton West Des Moines in Des Moines, Iowa. Visit their special booking page to book your room at our reserved rate. Friday night events will be at this hotel. The tour bus will depart from here Saturday morning and dinner that evening will also be here.



  • Friday night – reminiscing, local dining, spend time in the hotel lounge
  • Saturday – breakfast buffet, bus tour to southern Iowa to visit various Phillips family homesteads and cemetery and other historic sites, cocktail hour, dinner, evening concert

Highlights of the PSA Iowa Reunion Road Trip – Oct. 3, 2015

Our daylong bus tour of Waite Phillips’ childhood landscape will begin by driving through gorgeous autumnal Iowa countryside from Des Moines to the town of Bedford, county seat of Iowa’s Taylor Country.

Taylor County Historical Museum – Bedford
Our first stop will be at the Taylor County Historical Museum where local history experts will share their in-depth knowledge of the Phillips family in Iowa and give us the background we need to appreciate what we will see the rest of the day. Roslyn Cummings, president of the Taylor County Historical Society, will be our host. Museum exhibits include Phillips family photographs, documents, and books, and the Frank Phillips’ 1/4-sized covered wagon with WOLAROC or Bust! painted on the canvas.

Downtown Bedford
The courthouse that is the centerpiece of Bedford was built in 1892 when Waite and Wiate were nine years old, so they would have known it. In an upstairs vault, the County Recorder’s Office has the 1876 hand-written document, signed by Lewis Phillips, giving him title to 40 acres of land east of Bedford that could well have been the birthplace of the twins. A Civil War statue in front of the courthouse gives us the opportunity to discuss their father’s remarkable service during that conflict. (Lewis Phillips enlisted in the Union Army in 1861 at the age of 16 and served in the western theater of the war for the next four years.)

Lake of Three Fires
Our picnic lunch stop will be at a typically gorgeous Iowa state park. Lake of Three Fires is centrally located to most important Phillips’ sites in Taylor County.

North of Bedford is the small town of Conway. It was the town that Waite and Wiate would have known best as they were growing up.

Not far from Conway is Gravity, Iowa. The Washington County Cemetery on the edge of town includes the Phillips’ family plot with the graves of the Waite and Wiate’s parents, their sister Etta, and of Wiate.

Second Phillips Farm
When the twins were two years old, the Phillips family moved to a farm four miles north of Conway. The place where their home stood is now owned by Paul Chandler. A small portion of the foundation of the Phillips’ home is visible in the lawn alongside Mr. Chandler’s house. Down the hill from the house is a shallow valley that was once the site of the railroad where Waite and Wiate hopped aboard for their journey west for adventure.

First Phillips Farm
Our last stop in Taylor County will the property Lewis Phillips owned during the year the boys were born, and thus their probable birthplace. The farmhouse and any other buildings that had stood there are long gone, but the rolling terrain is the same and the landscape gives a strong suggestion of the Iowa origins that gave Waite Phillips much of the conservation ethic he would carry with him for the rest of his life.

Our bus ride back to Des Moines will take us through Creston, northeast of Taylor County. It was in Creston that Waite’s brother Frank found work as a barber and soon owned all the town’s barbershops. He eventually had a bank there, as well, and began to build the savings that would help finance Waite and Wiate on their several years of western explorations.

For further information contact:

Annual Fund: Not a Day Goes By

Without embellishing, not a day goes by without some thought of Philmont: her ruggedness, her friends, my friends, my time, my learning, my wife, my sons, my appreciation for the life experiences I encountered. It just doesn’t happen…ever.

I know these thoughts are not unique to me. There have got to be thousands of former staffers like myself that go through a similar process.

So let me ask, “Are you like me? Do you think about Philmont every day?”

When you have those thoughts, do they make you happy? Do they put you in a better place for that minute? For longer?

post_AF_MascittiFamilyObviously, this is a great time of year to give thanks. It’s also a great time–through that reflection of your time at the Ranch–to make a gift back to her. Why not do it now as you complete reading this? You know it will feel good, and guess what? The next time you take a minute to reflect–probably tomorrow–you’ll think about your gift and the impact that it makes on the Ranch and, equally important, the impact it has made on you.

Jason (Mort) Mascitti (75-81 Staff)

Please help us reach our 2013 goal by donating now, joining the 19.73 Club, or learning more…

In the photo from left to right:
Julie Huiras(80-82), Jason Mascitti, Marco Mascitti, Evan Mascitti, and dog, Springer (recently passed away).

Celebrating the Phillips: A Good Time to Take Care of Business

mausoleumEver wanted to do something important,but waited to fill out the papers or send in a deposit or an RSVP? Then it was too late? Ever met a scout that didn’t go to Philmont as a youth because he was “on the fence”? That scout doesn’t know what he missed.

If you are even thinking about attending the “Celebration of the lives of Genevieve and Waite Phillips”, why not sign up today?

By being there, you will be part of a potentially a once in a life time experience that less than two hundred of us will experience.

Hotel space and general spots available are filling rapidly. We are now 33% full and growing daily.

It is accounted for that Genevieve and Waite Phillips gave up to half of everything they earned to others. Philmont was part of the treasures that the Phillips family gave away.

This coming winter, January 31 and February 1, 2014, is your chance to say thanks. Come to Los Angeles and celebrate the Phillips lives with the PSA!

Join us for a weekend you’ll always remember. Take care of business now, and sign up today.

For full details, including all of the hotel choices and more and to register, go to

Full details.

Register directly.

Celebrating the Phillips: You Want to do This

mausoleumSome of us have not been back to Philmont since the last time we saw the Tooth of Time in our rear-view mirror. Some have been back every year since, and some just once or twice. We’ve shown our family Philmont. We’ve been on treks with our daughters and sons. Many of us now even have offspring that are employed there. We’ve thrown our chests forward and demonstrated Phil-pride all of our lives. We’ve made connections with people in little towns across America just by someone noticing the license plate holder on the front of our pick up.

We often think of the ranch, our friends, our fellow staff folk, even the names of some campers or advisors.

But how often do we stop and think for just one minute…that it was all because of Genevieve and Waite Phillips?

It is accounted for that Genevieve and Waite Phillips gave up to half of everything they earned to others. Philmont was part of the treasures that the Phillips family gave away.

This coming winter, January 31 and February 1, 2014, is your chance to say thanks. It’s your, perhaps “once in a lifetime” (really) opportunity to honor Genevieve and Waite Philips like never before and perhaps never again in at least your lifetime. Come to Los Angeles and celebrate the Phillips lives with the PSA.

Join us for a weekend you’ll always remember. Don’t wait. Admit it, you want to do this!

Full details.

Register directly.